Meta, Google, TikTok, join big tech to spend nearly $1 MILLION to block bills keeping children safe online

Other groups lobbying against the bills include trade groups such as Tech:NYC and TechNet, groups that represent the technology industry.


GoogleMeta, and TikTok are leading the charge in a lobbying effort costing nearly $1 million in order to kill two online safety bills to protect children.   

A group of big tech firms, including Google, TikTok and Meta, have lobbied with $823,235 against two bills going through the legislature in the state of New York, according to the New York Post.   

The two bills facing the challenge from the tech firms are the Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation (SAFE) for Kids Act and the New York Child Data Protection Act. Both have been advancing toward a vote with bipartisan support in the state legislature.   

New York's SAFE Act would crack down on addictive algorithms on social media networks. It would make the default setting for those who are younger than 18 to have a chronological feed instead of one that feeds an algorithm. The only way that the feed would be set to an algorithm would be through parental consent. It would also allow parents to impose time limits on social media apps.   

The Child Data Protection Act would then block apps from collecting data and personal information of those younger than 18 unless they consent to it. Kids younger than 13 would need permission from parents in order for the apps to collect their data.   

One veteran Albany insider said about the lobbying effort, “This is an astonishing amount of money to be spent to kill two reasonable bills." The exact amount that the big tech companies are using is difficult to determine, however, the total amount of spending against the bills is expected to surpass the $1 million mark as more disclosures are released next month.   

Danny Weiss, a longtime Capitol Hill staffer and officer at Common Sense Media said, “They are spending a lot of money to oppose these bills, as if they pose an existential threat to New York." 
Other companies spending on one or both sides of the bill include PayPal, Snap, Roblox, and Block. A Roblox spokesperson said the company supports the intent of the bills. A representative for eBay, which owns PayPal, said the company has not yet taken a position on the bills. A spokesperson for Block, which includes companies such as Cash App, Tidal, and Square, said the company supports the Child Data Protection Act with some modifications.

Other groups lobbying against the bills include trade groups such as Tech:NYC and TechNet, which represent the technology industry.

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